20 Brands Using TikTok Influencers the Right Way

GRIN also recommends this Quick Guide: Influencer Types: Which is best for your brand?

20 brands using tiktok influencers the right way

Tiktok Take Over

TikTok is on pace to become the fastest-growing social media platform in history. For years, marketers looked to Instagram and YouTube as the leading influencer spaces, but TikTok is quickly becoming the new breeding ground for top influencers.

Brands Switching to TikTok

TikTok offers more engagement potential, including video duets, live reactions, and smooth sharing integration with other leading social media channels.

Additionally, TikTok is reaching younger consumers, namely Gen Z-ers and younger Millennials. Brands that seek younger audiences know that they have to embrace the TikTok craze or risk a decline in market share.

Though we are still in the early days of TikTok, plenty of brands have committed to the new social media space and are publishing fun and exciting content for the masses. Here are our top twenty inspiring ideas that could help your brand become successful using TikTok influencers, as well.

20 Brands on TikTok to Fuel Your Creative Strategy

Brand 1: NBA – Beyond the Game

On other social media accounts, the NBA predictably publishes game highlights and sports news alerts. But on TikTok, NBA mascots get free reign. These costumed staff members are talented (watch TikTok videos of Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla dunk for fans) slapstick comedians.

Why It Works

Fans get a “behind the scenes” peek at entertainment initiatives that complement watching the live event. These videos also give at-home audiences something that they couldn’t otherwise enjoy unless they attended the games in person.

Brand 2: Apple Music – Trendy Hashtags

You would expect Apple Music to share music video sneak peeks. Instead, Apple Music invites artists into an informal effort to spread fun hashtags such as #SoundtrackToMyDay, #PerfDate, and #NeverStop.

Why It Works

Who doesn’t love personal details about their favorite celebrity? Apple Music gives audiences exclusive content on TikTok rather than recycled material from other channels. And the branded-hashtag approach is a nice touch because it allows fans to respond and create user-generated feedback.

Brand 3: NFL – Ready for the Draft?

The NFL has been experimenting with TikTok over the last year, and parts of their video selection mimic content on other social accounts. But to get fans excited for the draft, the NFL has dialed it in with a mixture of anticipation and humor.

For example, followers have especially enjoyed a draft montage set to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.” 

Why It Works

The NFL is using TikTok to show a more lighthearted side to a league often marketed as epic clashes of titans. Enjoying more whimsical content, NFL fans on TikTok get excited about upcoming events and share a laugh at the same time.

Brand 4: Chipotle – Challenges and More Challenges

Chipotle has become one of the poster child brands on TikTok due to its creative use of hashtagged challenges (note especially #GuacDance and #ChipotleLidFlip). Thousands of fans have taken the challenge with videos of their own, and thousands more chose to create a duet with the initial challenger.

Why It Works

Challenges are exciting ways to spread brand awareness and authentic engagement. TikTok’s sharing options grant users many different ways to react and respond with user-generated content.

Brand 5: Guess – Challenges Plus Influencers

Famed for its #InMyDenim challenge, Guess is one of the earliest adapters on TikTok. They are also one of the first TikTok brands to partner with influencers. Guess’s most-viewed videos include sponsored posts with @mylifeaseva, @brentrivera, and @madison_willow.

Why It Works

The most robust group of TikTok power users are influencers. Partnering with influencers to market challenges is one of the most efficient ways to create volumes of user-generated content.

Brand 6: Gymshark – Consistency and Variety

As with most marketing approaches, consistent content creation is critical. Thankfully, Gymshark is an example to us all on TikTok.

Gymshark offers TikTok audiences workout videos, homemade tutorials, apparel modeling (for active consumers of all ages), parkour demonstrations, and more. 

Why It Works

When expanding into a new, branded social channel, Gymshark established itself immediately by taking TikTok seriously. Marketers knew it was pointless to adopt TikTok without taking full advantage of it – and they have!

Brand 7: Sabra Hummus – Holiday Products and Snack Ideas

Sabra Hummus is having loads of fun on TikTok. Most of their videos will make you laugh (for example, check out Sabra’s hummus on pizza video with “Who Let the Dogs” Out by Baha Men).

During the Valentines’ holiday, Sabra used TikTok to promote its chocolate hummus. When they don’t have a unique holiday flavor, Sabra demonstrates to fans all the ways you can use hummus for snacks and meals.

Why It Works

Sabra converts what many consider a one-dimensional-style dip into a multi-dimensional snack accessory. TikTok fans get ingenious ideas for incorporating hummus into their day, and Sabra is not afraid to showcase new flavors in appealing (albeit funny) videos.

Brand 8: United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development – Social Awareness and Knowledge

While most social media content highlights first-world privilege, the UN’s IFAD opens our eyes to lesser-known rural communities that supply the globe with critical resources. With the help of celebrities Idris and Sabrina Elba, IFAD’s TikTok account offers supporters fascinating videos featuring third-world farming communities and sustainability statistics.

Why It Works

Few would have thought that TikTok could be a dynamic way to generate awareness for developing nations, but the IFAD has proven otherwise. Many more non-profits could take lessons from the IFAD by generating cause awareness on TikTok.

Brand 9: Spikeball – TikTok Video Skills

No one needs any videography experience to make it big on TikTok. However, Spikeball proves that with enough TikTok practice, you can create some remarkable content.

The game of Spikeball is enthralling by itself. But with the help of TikTok’s video editing features, Spikeball demonstrations include professional-looking slow-motion play, sound effects, quick cuts, and more.

Why It Works

After watching for a few minutes, you might wish there was a professional Spikeball league with televised matches. But there’s no need because you can just buy the game for yourself. Spikeball nails TikTok.

Brand 10: WWE – Highlight Reels

Scrolling through videos on WWE’s TikTok, one gets that feeling that this brand has long-dreamed of this social media match made in heaven. Outlandish and dramatic, WWE has used TikTok to do the thing it does best – get attention.

Starting with a press release announcing WWE’s intent to join TikTok, the brand is happily filling its feed with highlight reels. Views per video range from 800,000 to 20 million and WWE has only been on TikTok since last December.

Why It Works

TikTok favors explosive content and niche audiences. To a degree, all WWE needed to do was show up. And they did. 

Brand 11: Vineyard Vines – Brand Sentiment

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are defining 2020. In the face of uncertainty, Vineyard Vines is using its TikTok presence to promote quarantine life. 

The #whaleathome (Vineyard Vines’ mascot is a pink whale, get it?) movement is catching on, and the brand gets to keep tabs on the lifestyle changes of their audience.

Why It Works

Business isn’t just about sales. Brands like Vineyard Vines see value in increasing brand sentiment through no-strings-attached social media engagement. TikTok followers certainly appreciate it.

Brand 12: Sephora – A Little of Everything

There are not many rules in social media marketing. As such, Sephora is not afraid to try any tactic that showcases its products and engages audiences.

On their TikTok account, you’ll discover Sephora using Fortnite references, comedy lip dubs, tutorials, music videos, and (of course) influencer marketing.

Why It Works

No one-size marketing approach fits all. Sometimes, you just have to mix and match tactics to get the most out of any single medium. On TikTok, Sephora shows us how it’s done.

Brand 13: Netflix – Using Clips to Increase Web Traffic

Netflix’s TikTok approach is simple – show clips from trending shows and movies.

With 2020 consumers stuck at home, Netflix doesn’t do anything fancy while using TikTok to increase traffic on their video streaming website. In addition to clips, show/movie stars hop on as celebrity influencers to invite audiences to join their viewer base.

Why It Works

Netflix recognizes that many consumers are currently struggling with boredom. As such, they use clips to suggest new viewing ideas and remove all doubt that Netflix is the leading streaming service online today.

Brand 14: Crocs – Influencers

Since last fall, Crocs has leaned heavily upon influencers to increase follower counts and drive sales. There is hardly a post that does not feature a young influencer (and don’t forget those sponsored posts by canine influencers @jibbitz and @jessethepompom).

Why It Works

Influencers are well-established on most other social channels, but TikTok influencers are often much younger and less experienced in brand partnerships. Nevertheless, Crocs has recruited TikTok influencers boldly and has been able to produce campaigns that are uniquely suited to reach younger audiences on TikTok.

Brand 15: Fenty Beauty – Just Flaunt It

Fenty Beauty is not afraid to show off, and that’s precisely why they’re on TikTok. Also an avid influencer marketing brand, Fenty partners with famous TikTok personalities to showcase their product lines. 

Why It Works

If you’re proud of your products, there’s no shame in showing off. Fenty Beauty is one leading example of how beauty and fashion brands are using TikTok to entice consumers with product showcasing and demonstrations.

Brand 16: Fortnite – Gen Z Frenzies Unite

Of all the brands listed, Fortnite’s TikTok video library is one of the least prolific. But view counts exceeding 1 million per video means that they are connecting with audiences on TikTok.

If TikTok is the official social media platform for Gen Z, then Fortnite is the official video game for Gen Z (and younger ages). Fans can enjoy videos of their favorite characters doing a trending dance.

Why It Works

Perfect audience alignment is rare, but Fortnite’s presence on TikTok is one example. Should they decide to take their TikTok account more seriously, they will undoubtedly strike oil.

Brand 17: San Diego Zoo – Who Doesn’t Love Animals?

The San Diego Zoo sells itself. In a world where people go out of their way to watch and share animal videos, the San Diego Zoo understood that the sooner they post videos, the faster their audiences would fall in love. 

Every post gives you a sneak peek of animal residents, along with behind-the-scenes footage of friendships between wild and domestic animals (watch a dog and cheetah grow up together in this adorable montage).

Why It Works

Similar to IFAD, San Diego Zoo’s TikTok account is a place for social awareness. The zoo is less concerned with ticket sales and more concerned with the sustainability of life on planet Earth.

Brand 18: The Washington Post – Inform and Delight

Dave Jorgenson is a writer and videographer for The Washington Post. But he is also the face of TWP on TikTok. At first glance, TWP’s TikTok account looks like Jorgenson’s personal account.

But Jorgenson’s videos don’t just make audiences laugh, they actually inform Washington Post readers. In one video, Jorgenson illustrates the confusing democratic caucus vote in Iowa using three cups, each labeled with a Democratic candidate. He then pours fuel from a gas can (which represents the votes) indiscriminately over all three cups. At the end, Jorgenson lights the entire project on fire with a caption that reads, “We still don’t know who won.”

Why It Works

In a world where fake news continues to pollute information online, The Washington Post uses TikTok to build rapport with readers. Jorgenson proves that the news doesn’t have to be boring or just for older generations.

Brand 19: Red Bull – Just Dance Across All TikTok Accounts

In case you weren’t aware, everyone is dancing on TikTok. Red Bull is more than happy to capitalize on this trend with dance challenges of their own, as well as an entirely separate Red Bull Dance TikTok account.

But there’s more. Red Bull has TikTok accounts for other countries wherein they have a strong consumer base (see Red Bull France, for example). Red Bull keeps its TikTok accounts connected, engagement hotbeds through the help of influencers, challenges, and branded hashtags.

Why It Works

Red Bull serves an active and extreme sport audience. By embracing the dance hype on TikTok and creating multiple accounts to reach even greater niche audiences, Red Bull hosts social media parties for all fans everywhere.

Brand 20: Calvin Klein – Social Media Integration

Much has changed for their TikTok account in the last few months.

More than most brands on TikTok, Calvin Klein makes impeccable use of hashtags, particularly #mycalvins. Additionally, Calvin Klein is not afraid to point fans back to their more prolific social channels, such as YouTube.

Why It Works

Calvin Klein is successful on TikTok because they use their presence with intentionality, even if to send audiences somewhere else. A lateral conversion from one online presence to another still counts as engagement. 

In Conclusion: Brands Using TikTok

TikTok is addictive. Just because your brand may not have tried it before doesn’t mean that – with a slight learning curve – TikTok couldn’t become a great place to increase awareness for your products or services.

Allow the ideas above to get your creative juices flowing and give TikTok a try today. Because TikTok is the new dominating influencer space, consider enlisting the help of influencers to grow your fan base on TikTok.

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Additional Resources

What the best brands are doing to drive revenue from influencer marketing

Whether you are just getting started with influencer marketing or already have your program in place, this guide gives you the tools to get the return on investment your C-level will love. 

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